Ahoy matey! All aboard the Empire Sandy for the second annual Indie Boat Hop craft beer cruise. Take a three hour journey savouring fine brew while enjoying the Lake Ontario breezes and the Toronto skyline.
There are two sessions available: afternoon or evening. Why not make it a full day and do both? I know of a few people who did it. Although, I haven't heard from them since. Perhaps they were made to walk the plank. Yarr!
This year the event featured collaborations between Amsterdam Brewery, Great Lakes Brewery, Sawdust City, Bellwoods, and Bar Hop. The list also offered a cider from West Avenue Cider Company.
My top picks:
Clifford Little Mutineer (North American Pilsner) "Made with all pilsner malt and a German lager yeast, it has a medium malt body, a sulfate accentuated bitterness and a crisp dry finish." (5.0% abv)
I'm normally not a pilsner drinker, but this one was delicious. Maybe because I love those hops and this particular sample was more hop-forward. I wouldn't mind being trapped at sea with this.
Bellwoods x Great Lakes Brewery Bretallica (Brett Pale Ale) "Subtle and delicious, with savoury and fruity Brett-derived aromatics that mingle well with the tropical character of the Galaxy and Mosaic hops." (5.0% abv)
Indie Alehouse Rubicon (Belgian Golden Ale) "Dangerously drinkable, this Belgian Golden Ale is 9% and boasts a stone fruit sweetness."
From special hopped pilsners, session IPAs, to sour Belgian-style wheat beers, the menu made the lake-voyage less treacherous and that much more adventurous. ;) Hard not to try new things when you're trapped on a boat!
Now enjoy the traditional boat cruise theme song.